Poor GUI design

I reported an error in the GUI in the TreeShare for Ancestry. A button on the far right was not displaying any text. ( Circled in Red in the image. )
I was told that it was designed that way. What!???

The whole point of having a button is that it contains a text label explaining what it does. Or am I missing something important??
If the designer doesn’t want the button used, don’t show the button!!

The button does have a function but they don’t tell you what it does! It removes the person from the changed list when you don’t want to see the change proposed again.

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I know what the button does, why cannot the programmers label the button properly? Or are they , and the users, content with poor design? What is the rational for not including the label.

The X is the icon. Hover over the button and you will see the label "Mark as “not changed”.

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In good GUI design the label should be written on the button and the popup you described should give a Hint of its use. That is how they are named in the GUI tools when buttons are created. Why is it not done with this button.

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My guess is because they apparently use a non-standard tool set. After all, it is the development tools that are often blamed for various shortcomings in the software.

If you check RM7 you will see we only had an icon with a hover label on that button too. More than likely its not named, like the other buttons on that screen, because the name is rather long to fit on a button.

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I am not interested in RM7 as I purchased RM9. Having a long running indication of poor design does not bode well for RootsMagic. In 19 Days there were over 700 reports made to tech support. I also have a ticket in for a reproducible bug that looses data. For potential customers this is not what they need to hear but it has to be said.

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I really don’t see what the issue is with this - it says what it does when the cursor is over it? It’s never been a problem for me - I am more concerned about the fundamental working of the software, which I generally like. Yes, it’s not perfect and won’t suit everyone and we all have a choice, but it sounds like you have a wider problem with the program.

Where are you seeing 700 reports being sent into tech support in 19 days? I only find 3 tickets from you. All of them have been replied to by support. Make sure you click Save so you don’t loose data.

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Suggestion: How about implementing a public/community development dashboard of bugs and ideas for RM? I can see a lot of benefit by simply making such information available, with caveats of course - e.g. any indicative priority / timing subject to change. This would go a long way to getting rid of speculation.

You are flogging a dead horse here. This has been brought up and ignored during the last four releases of RM. It may even go back further.

Why am I not surprised?! It reinforces sailing on the Titanic.

But that would benefit their customers who bought their product and not the developers.

Quite often Renee will respond that something or other has been added to THE LIST, but with no indication of its priority. I think that the developers have their hands full just smashing bugs and bringing RM9 up to the level of RM7’s functionality.

I would hope that once they can deliver a fairly bug-free product they can start adding things their users have been asking for.

It would be really nice if they had a system like Family Historian has that allows end users to write plugins. There are certainly more than a few programmers in this group who would be willing and able to take some of the long-lingering requests off their hands and improve the product for eveyone.

Yes, “developers have their hands full”, indicates a capacity issue and a need on their part to focus on things. I’ve conveyed in another post that this is a tough spot to be in.

As to the ability to support plugins … great idea, if it is designed and engineered into the architecture of the tool. Other tools have already done this as in example you mentioned and also in the open source community. So, if the ability to allow plug-ins became a reality, now that would be awesome … but doubting Thomas has a pretty strong opinion on that, right?!

I assumed that you were aware of this, but maybe not! Rootsmagic is a two dev shop. Before Michael Booth joined up, there was just Bruce Buzbee. Their mobile apps got farmed out to another shop, which is why they haven’t been updated for some time which caused the Android version to get unsupported.

So capacity issues and a dubious dev toolchain is probably to blame for many ills.

Oh @kfunk, not a good situation at all. I was aware of the origin story, however, I have been hoping a business strategy for sustainability and growth was quietly being prosecuted. If what exists is basically a glorified garage operation that has a demand pipeline that cannot be serviced, then it is truly a remarkable thing they are still a going concern and also highly sensitive about any disclosure. Aside from the many repetitive frustrations being expressed in this forum, long term forum posters such as yourself and other informed regulars are really part of the life support. The doomsday clock gets closer to midnight I fear. So, as a community of end users, I’m at a loss for how best “we” can help, if at all, aside from just hoping for the best yet quietly expecting a train wreck.

What is ironic about this situation are the other problems i discovered, both more serious. The notes field/system that does not remove rogue characters when coming from the clipboard. It can accept and display html until it is saved, then the text reappears with the html markup - Support response “use paste as text” instead of owning up to the problem. If the clipboard has been used a lot, there are other characters appearing as well. When this happens a program can throw a fatal error.

The more serious problem is the loss of data from new facts (events). Add a fact to an individual, add date and description, then go and add your source. Then close the person dialog. When the person dialog is re-opened, the fact is there without date or description. That ticket is still outstanding. If after adding the source the user goes back to the event by using the left arrow, then the close saved the event properly.

The old adage “don’t buy version 1” comes to mind. Unfortunately Rootsmagic is on Version 9.

Surely that isn’t a bug, not when they give you a nice green checkmark to click to save your fact and you don’t do it. sarcasm for those of you with broken sarcasm detectors

As a UI Requirements manager for a major corporation with UI intensive products, I often found developers have a strong bias toward designs that work for them, but not for the customer. Developers often forget that customers may not have the same familiarity with the software as they themselves do, that customers don’t have insight into the software’s inner workings as they do, and customers don’t intuitively know the rules the developers choose to adhere to (or not adhere to). And in many cases, developers don’t use the features as repetitively or in the full real-world context that customers do. Therefore, they can be somewhat blind to the effects their UI design decisions have on their customers. It’s a bias that’s hard for developers to overcome. Especially when they have too much on their plate or deadlines to meet. So it’s understandable that developers don’t always take their customers’ input to heart. But the good developers will at least try to do it. And the degree to which they do, is what separates great software from mediocre software, and satisfied customers from unsatisfied customers.

I give credit to RM for generally trying to do the right thing, but I do get the sense they have too few developers and probably limited or no formal training in UIX (User Interface Experience) processes and principles. I guess we as customers have to decide if their offering is good enough.

As for me, I’ve been trying to migrate my main TMG database to RM for years. But I have yet to make the plunge because I keep finding things that make me say, it’s not ready yet. I do use RM for small projects for clients and friends as a way to keep my hands in it. But those experiences just keep reminding me it’ just not ready to be my mainstream tool. I want it to be there, I hope for it to be there. But alas it continues to have too many outstanding issues which don’t seem to get addressed at a rate that convinces me to take the plunge.

I feel for both the RM staff and RM customers. All want it to be great But being great is hard, and it may be a bridge too far for such a small company that has a rather constrained customer base. Too bad though.